Arts Desk

Don’t Be Bored: Wu-Tang Clan and Things That Aren’t Christmas!

As a native Staten Islander—keep your comments to yourself, please—I’m crestfallen that my hometown’s most illustrious musical export is coming to town the day I head back to Shaolin for the holidays. Tonight, Wu-Tang Clan returns to State Theatre, the Falls Church venue that probably hosts more cover bands than hip-hop shows (its website offers an all-caps plea for attendees to leave their backpacks at home). But while the venue is a weird pick, this show is nothing to scoff at. Why? RZA is on the bill. His anticipated performance—he didn’t play last year’s State Theatre gig—could lend some insights into the crew’s upcoming album, rumored to be released sometime next summer. Trust and believe that tonight, I’ll have my “W” raised in solidarity, even if the other Bolt Bus passengers glare at me skeptically. 9 p.m. $55. (Matt Siblo)

THINGS THAT ARE NOT CHRISTMAS

“Are you ready for Christmas?” asked several of my co-workers in the elevator, while another placed a Madonna-with-Baby-Jesus card on my desk. Oy vey! For all of Fox News’ rantings about a war on Christmas, the Jews are still forgotten this time of year. But thanks to folks like Rob Tannenbaum, we at least don’t have to be bored. In 1999, the former Blender music editor and co-author of I Want My MTV, alongside Rockapella’s Sean Altman, launched a satirical revue called “What I Like About Jew.” In 2006 they released the album Unorthodox, which included the song “They Tried To Kill Us (We Survived, Let’s Eat).” But for the last five years, Tannenbaum has been working on Good For the Jews with singer-guitarist David Fagin from indie-pop band The Rosenbergs. Their schtick melds Jewish pride with cultural self-criticism and sophomoric sexual humor, and relies on lyrics like “puts the ‘whore’ in ‘hora,’” “like mayonnaise on rye, you make your bubbe cry,” and “we got eight nights, they just got one.” 8 p.m. Saturday at Jammin' Java. $20. (Steve Kiviat)

Two other events with enthusiastic City Paper endorsement: the annual James Brown Death-mas at Black Cat, and Chinese food, movies, and beer at Sixth & I Historic Synagogue.

IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO WORK MONDAY

Nearly 10 years ago, Infinity Express debuted at the Smithsonian’s then-newly refurbished Albert Einstein Planetarium at the National Air and Space Museum. Projected on the planetarium’s dome, the 20-minute film was a museum mainstay for years, immersing viewers in an epic trek through the universe, combing actual images from space as well as artful animations. Laurence Fishburne’s dark-side-of-the-moon narration added to the consciousness-expanding atmosphere. But alas, every trip must come to an end: With new cosmic discoveries, better technology, and fresh films being made to illustrate those revelations, Infinity Express was shelved in 2006, leaving movies such as Journey to the Stars and Cosmic Collisions to carry the celestial load. But like a comet, Infinity Express has returned. Showings began Dec. 18 and will continue through next fall, giving space-heads a chance to reengage with one of the planetarium’s brightest stars. The film shows daily, except Dec. 24 and 25. (Christopher Porter)

ABSURD SPIELBERG FILMS

It’s too bad Steven Spielberg didn’t make a Tintin movie in 1981, when adventure stories were still bound by the laws of physics. You can, after all, see a lot of Tintin in the first and third Indiana Jones films. But this classic creation of the Belgian cartoonist Hergé isn’t really on evidence in Spielberg’s latest 21st-century monstrosity, The Adventures of Tintin, which, with its performance-capture animation and ludicrous action sequences, basically feels likeThe Polar Express on methamphetamines. In one scene that isn’t even the film’s most ridiculous, a pirate ship and a trading galley lock masts as they duel, so that the former vessel is able to swing above the latter like a pendulum (also, they’re both on fire). In another, Tintin—that plucky young gumshoe!—drives his motorbike off a balcony, catches a clothesline with the handlebar to ride it like a zip-line, and somehow manages to land in his foes’ escaping vehicle. This film isn’t really interested in Hergé’s themes of imperial decline and intercontinental intrigue. It doesn’t seem to care much for Tintin as a detective, either, even if it finds a couple occasions for him to deploy a magnifying glass. When the film reaches its denouement—in which Tintin’s compatriot Captain Haddock and their enemy Ivan Ivanovitch Sakharine fight using shipping cranes as proxies—you’ll wonder why Spielberg didn’t bother throwing in a nuke-repellent fridge. By that point, it’d hardly be a stretch. The film shows all week at area theaters. (Jonathan L. Fischer)

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  • http://www.attackerman.com Spencer Ackerman

    But while the venue is a weird pick, this show is nothing to scoff at.

    Seriously? How could you not write, "... this show ain't nothin' to fuck with" ?

  • noodlez

    TIMES ARE HARD IN THE noodlez HOUSEHOLD WHEN I HAVE TO CHOOSE MY CHRISTMAS GIFT.

    DA WU IN VA. OR THA ROOTS @ FILLMO?

    THE SAD PART IS MY WIFE CHOSE FOR ME BECAUSE THE ROOTS SHOW IS CHEAPER AND SHE DONT KNOW ANY KILLA BEE TRACKS.

    I GUESS METH SAID IT BEST IN "TRIUMPH" SO IMA PLAY MY POSITION AND GO SEE THE ROOTS.

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